FREE online advice service. We offer FREE online advice in relation to such cases. It is very easy to end up in jail charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice. please don’t take advice from your mate down the pub who tells you just to “name the wife”
I have just received a Notice of Intended Prosecution for speeding or NIP…do I need to tell the police I was driving? Tends to be a common question and the answer is, an emphatic, yes. Section 172 of The Road Traffic Act makes sure that you do require to give the name of the driver. Get legal advice as soon as possible, from a firm that is recommended to you or do some online research and seek out a specialist firm. We can provide you with a free online case consultation or we can even deal with ALL of the correspondence on your behalf.
Notice of Intended Prosecution: 14 Day Rule
You are not expected to be super human and would not be expected to perform some miracle of memory for the police. This situation usually arises when you have received a Notice of Intention to Prosecute or what many people refer to as a NIP, within 14 days of an alleged offence. You are REQUIRED to provide information to identify the driver. If you were driving a company car or a leased vehicle remember that the 14 day time limit will not apply to you.
What not to do is to “Just say the wife did it” You may well have read about allegations concerning a leading politician in connection with such a case. The watchword is BEWARE, OK your licence may be at risk, this means you need to talk with a lawyer and you need to deal with things the correct way. If you name another person then you may well end up in jail! Yes, it really is that serious.
This is called attempting to pervert the course of justice and people go to jail for it. EVEN 1st offenders. That speed camera that you saw on the over bridge not only had a laser speed detection device but very likely had a video recorder linked to the device recording images of the vehicle and the occupants. Display quality can vary a great deal but images from these videos can often make it very clear that it was a male that was driving and can often show extremely clear images that would allow you to identify the driver. We once had a client who had found himself charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice after he named his wife as driver.We looked at the video and the stills and could see a buxom blonde lady who was very definitely in the passenger seat and a balding gentleman with glasses sitting in the driver’s seat beside her. We managed to keep him out of jail but feel sure that he will never place the value of his licence above the value of his liberty ever again.
If you are uncertain about who was driving, answer the NIP by requesting access to the video evidence or still photographs from the device. Please remember that you are NOT legally entitled to copies of these images (AS the case has not been reported and you are not YET being prosecuted) however the police and road safety camera partnership people are usually helpful in sending out photo stills from the video or allowing you to call at their office and view the video
Notice of Intended Prosecution.
So what exactly is a written NIP? In essence it is a document that specifies the nature of the offence and the time and place it is alleged to have been committed. It requires the keeper to provide the police with the name of the person who was driving the vehicle at the time of the alleged motoring offence. Providing this information is a legal obligation under Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA). If the keeper is uncertain who was driving their vehicle they may still guilty of an offence unless they either provide the name of the driver or a list of possible drivers. Failure to provide the relevant information may result in prosecution and the punishment could be worse than for the speeding offence. Certain exceptions do apply however where it can be shown that the keeper did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained who the driver of the vehicle was (S172.4).
NIP and Limited Companies
A NIP can also be issued to limited companies and the requirement of disclosure is is also obligatory. The Road Traffic Act 1991 Section 21 (2) requires the keeper of the vehicle to identify the driver. Subsection (3) makes it an offence for the keeper to fail to comply. Subsection (4) provides a defence if the Keeper shows that he did not know who the driver was and could not have found out by using “reasonable diligence”. However under Subsection (6) the company must prove that as well as not being able to identify the driver using ‘reasonable diligence’ it must show that it did not keep a record of who was driving the vehicle and that the failure to keep such records was reasonable. This is an onerous test to pass as it is generally fairly easy for a company to have a system in place which identifies the driver of a company vehicle at any given time, for example a log book kept in the vehicle which allows any drivers to enter the details of his or her journey. If the company did have such a system but it didn’t work on a particular occasion that might suffice as a defence.
Management and Directors Responsibility In A Ltd Company Scenario
As far as management responsibility is concerned subsection (5) of the act says that where a director or senior manager of the company caused or connived with the failure to identify the driver, that person is also guilty. Most contraventions involving company vehicles result in the company being fined however there are instances where directors can also have points endorsed on their licence. In relation to s172, in general most police forces prosecute the company and not the Directors for failing to identify the driver as this leads to a conviction and fine without any effort. Additionally it may not be in the best interest of the court to prosecute Directors (solely to get points put on a licence).
More Information About How To Deal With A NIP
We are working on an information sheet about how to deal with a NIP or Notice of Intended Prosecution but in the meantime if you want advise today just call our office on 0800 612 2535 or complete the undernoted Information Pack request and we will send out our Information Sheet when it is completed.
If you would like us to call you back at a specific date and time simply complete the form found on our home page